The Atom: A Closer Look
A Disney film. History of the atom and discovery of radioactivity.
Audio/Visual sound, color
Explanation of different types of radiation. Great demonstration of
the principle of fission. Mirrored room is filled with mousetraps
baited with ping-pong balls. A ball is thrown into the room. Chain
reaction! Reactor theory and operation is covered. Great shots of
reactor core, men in white suits, etc.. Nuclear waste vitrification,
November 25, 2014
Note "Copyright MCMLVII"
This short feature is partly adapted from the 1957 "Disneyland" TV programme "Our Friend the Atom", which was 53 minutes in length. The various animated segments, including the "Fisherman and the Genie" (here abbreviated), are mostly from this source, as is the demonstration of fission with moustraps in a mirrored box. There are also new animations, illustrating (for example) a meltdown in a pressurized-water reactor.
As a treatment of the subject of atomic science and nuclear energy on a level suitable for children or adults with a weak grounding in science, it is perfectly acceptable. Some viewers may be interested by historical touches such as shots of the then-new San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (sadly now shut down).
The film-to-video transfer is poor : colour is faded, contrast is low, there are scratches & jumps, along with noise and pops in the audio ; the picture, moreover, does not fill the whole frame.
October 2, 2008
mbski loves this
although it is an older movie, I show this to my high school chemistry students and have never heard a single complaint in 17 years. The Disney characters are sweet and the explanations are right on. It does give a positive spin on nuclear power. I am so excited to have found this on the web so I don't have to get it from my education video center at their convenience.